NEW YORK -- The Yankees were missing the back end of their bullpen for Saturday's matinee against the A's, with both closer Rafael Soriano and setup man David Robertson likely unavailable because of their workloads in recent days.
Soriano experienced a dead arm in Friday's 2-1 win, when he blew his fourth save, although manager Joe Girardi appeared unconcerned, pointing to Soriano's two saves in Wednesday's doubleheader as the reason for any soreness. Robertson pitched each of the past three days, earning the win in relief of Soriano on Friday.
Girardi said he was unsure of who he would use in a late-game situation and it likely depends on where Oakland is in its lineup.
"You try to use your head and you don't abandon your principles, but they are built up a lot more now than they are in the beginning of the season. That's why at times I will use a guy three days in a row here," Girardi said. "I still try to stay away from it, but we've been in a lot of close the games the last three weeks and I've had to do it at times. There are times when you just have to say a guy's not going to pitch that day, and today's one of those days."
Soriano has recorded a save in 42 of his 46 opportunities, with the most recent coming Wednesday, when he recorded a four-out save in the afternoon against the Blue Jays, then a nine-pitch save in the nightcap.
Girardi was unsure whether he would use Soriano that night, but the right-hander warmed up and said he felt strong, prompting Girardi to call on him. Soriano started throwing in the bullpen in the eighth inning of Thursday's 10-7 win, but that was his own doing, and Girardi turned to Robertson for the save instead.
Soriano said he felt normal September soreness in his right shoulder after allowing a pinch-hit homer to Brandon Moss to tie Friday's series opener against Oakland in the ninth, and both manager and closer do not appear concerned that the issue will linger.
"I really believe it was the twice in one day," Girardi said. "Sori is a guy that I think knows his body pretty well. He's closed before and knows what he can take, and communicates very well how he's feeling. I'm pretty sure that will go away."